Creating Music and Texts with Flow Machines

Part of the Creativity in the Twenty First Century book series (CTFC)


This chapter introduces the vision and the technical challenges of the Flow Machines project. Flow Machines aim at fostering creativity in artistic domains such as music and literature. We first observe that typically, great artists do not output just single artefacts but develop novel, individual styles. Style mirrors an individual’s uniqueness; style makes an artist’s work recognised and recognisable. Artists develop their own style after prolonged periods of imitation and exploration of the style of others. We envision style exploration as the application of existing styles, considered as texture, to arbitrary constraints, considered as structure. The goal of Flow Machines is to assist this process by allowing users to explicitly manipulate styles as computational objects. During interactions with Flow Machines, the user can create artefacts (melodies, texts, orchestrations) by combining styles with arbitrary constraints. Style exploration under user-defined constraints raises complex sequence generation issues that were addressed and solved for the most part during the first half of the project. We illustrate the potential of these techniques for style exploration with three examples.


Divergent Thinking Psychological Trait Style Exploration Creative Individual Scientific Creativity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research is conducted within the Flow Machines project, which received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement n. 291156.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sony Computer Science LaboratoryParisFrance

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